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Hostile work environment is often the result of harassment

On Behalf of | Jan 23, 2023 | Employment Law

Everyone has the right to feel safe and supported in the workplace. Yet many people of all backgrounds have reported that their coworkers and supervisors offend and disrespect them on a regular basis. If you are a victim of workplace harassment in Florida, you may be able to file a claim against your employer for hostile work environment.

While there is no law that says all of your coworkers and supervisors must like you, there are laws to prevent them from harassing you. However, not all offensive behavior is legally considered to be harassment. Consider whether the harassment you are experiencing fits the following legal criteria:

  • Conduct is offensive: Crude jokes, insults, threats, name calling, offensive e-mails/texts, etc.
  • Conduct is discriminatory/based on membership in protected class: Mistreatment is based on age, race, religion, gender, sexual preference, etc.
  • Conduct is severe and pervasive: Conduct creates environment that reasonable person would find “intimidating, hostile, or abusive.”
  • Tolerating conduct is required: It is necessary for the victim to put up with the harassment in order to continue working there.

Victims should make it clear to the harasser that the harassing behaviors are unwelcome and report any instances of harassment to human resources or management. If you decide to move forward with your claim, you will likely need to establish that your employer knew about the harassment but failed to take appropriate and reasonable action to remedy the situation. You may also argue that your employer did not have appropriate policies in place specifying how these situations should be handled.

No one should be subjected to discrimination anywhere, including the workplace. If you are being harassed at work, an employment law attorney can help you file a claim against your employer so that you can recover damages for lost wages and emotional distress.